It’s all about penguins here at the moment at Clare’s Little Tots so of course, it wasn’t long before I was asked if we could make our own.

These paper tube penguins use materials you probably already have around the house and are a great craft for preschoolers to do independently.

paper tube penguins

We’ve been reading our current favourite book,  Henry’s Holiday (affiliate link) this week as well as watching videos on YouTube to find out more about them.

I made these with a 4 year old, 21 month old and a 13 month old. The younger two Tots needed a lot of support, helping them to hold bits in place whilst they glued but still very much enjoyed doing it, especially getting covered in glue. It was a great chance for the 4 year to practice his scissor skills and independence using crafting materials.

You will need:

  • Toilet roll tube (or kitchen roll cut to size)
  • Black, orange and white paper (or card, foam etc)
  • Googly Eyes
  • Glue (and possibly sellotape)
  • Scissors
  • Pen or something to make a mark with

photo 3-1


  • Roll the black paper around the toilet roll tube and mark out how much is needed to cover it. Cut it out or assist those who are old enough in cutting out their own.
  • Cover in glue (always the favourite part) and wrap round the tube adding extra tape if you need it.
  • Cut out the white belly for the penguin and stick this on the front.
  • Add the googly eyes
  • Cut out a triangle shape for a beak from the orange paper (we used foam for this)
  • Cut out another two triangles for the feet – we used tape to secure these
  • Then lastly with the left over back paper cut out two shapes for wings and secure with glue (or more tape)

The Little Tots were really pleased with the results and have been using them in their imaginative play and then pretending to be penguins themselves by walking and moving like one and talking like one (apparently they talk, who knew).

paper tube penguins


More penguin fun:

If your little ones loved making these then why not try some if the below ideas to extend their interest:

Areas of learning

  • Communication and Language – Focussing and maintaining attention, understanding the use of objects, responding to simple and two-part instructions.
  • Physical Development – Picking up small objects between thumb and finger, using one-handed tools and equipment, holding a pencil, handing tools and objects with increased control.
  • Maths – Using language of quantity, selecting a number of small objects form a group, recognising shapes, describing / understanding position of things e.g next to, behind.
  • Understanding the world – Talking about where penguins live and it being cold.
  • Express arts and design – Notices effect of making marks (glue), explores a range of media through sensory exploration (glue), uses various construction materials, realises tools can be used for a purpose, uses tools and techniques competently.

Paper Tube Penguins

easy penguin craft

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